Friday, July 18, 2014

They Have it Coming...

That is, if they don't put me in an early grave...

Many people wonder why I take photos and videos of my children exhibiting dangerous or poor behavior.  I suppose they question why I would allow the activity or behavior for longer than necessary.  Sure, it could result in an injury in some cases to allow it for the extra 10-30 seconds it takes to get it on camera (though unlikely as I am obviously right there).  But I have a good reason, I assure you.

When the day arrives that my boys are old enough, and have grown much larger than I am, I plan to occasionally bust out one of these photos or videos, show it to them...and then smack them upside their heads.

Currently, the Managing Partner is racking up the lion's share of future head smacks...

He also does this in shopping carts - straps can not contain this animal.

Look at the joy on his face.  He thinks potentially breaking his neck is hilarious.

Yes, that is the dining room table.  That is a 17 month old child on top of that is not a knife, it is a pen...I'm not completely negligent!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

There's a New SAHM In Town

I’m going to Vegas next weekend with my girlfriend.  She is also a stay at home mom.  We are going, just the two of us.  No husbands, no kids.  We are looking forward to it, to say the least.

I have gotten a lot of questions about this trip.  What are we going to do?  Are we going to get super drunk?  Are we going to gamble?  Are we going to a show?  Are we going to a club?  I don’t know.  All of the above or none of the above…ok, yes there will be booze involved.  In the end, I imagine we will day drink poolside, have a crazy over the top dinner and hit the sack late, but not too late.  Here is what I am not going to do.  Tell every single person that asks me what I do that I am a stay at home mom to two young boys.  Why not?  Well, it’s not because I am ashamed, or because I want to hide the fact that I am a mom.  No, it is because I am so sick and tired of the look I get when I am out at a bar or a lounge, getting my party on, and someone asks me what I do and I respond, “I am a stay at home mom, I have two kids.”

The look is the same look I imagine someone gives a recently released prison inmate.  It often comes with what I consider bizarre questions like, “Oh you escaped for the night, huh?”  Hmph.  Um, yes, I’ve been using a rubber tipped baby spoon to dig an escape tunnel hidden behind the framed portrait of my family.  “Who is with your kids right now?”  Um, no one, they are in the bathtub with the toaster.  Heaven forbid I should be out with the girls and I answer “their father,” the next question is usually, “Oh he does that?  That’s cool, he babysits the kids so you can go out.”  What the f*ck?  Yes, I pay him $7 an hour to baby sit his own damn kids!  I am starting to get the impression that many people think that being a stay at home mom means that you literally stay home…all the time.  A stay at home mom certainly does not wear tight jeans, push up bras, high heels, eye liner or lipstick.  No, not to the park she doesn’t, (unless your are Gwen Stefani of course) but going out, a night on the town?  Yes, she does.  And, guess what?  Stay at home moms; some of us at least, go out often!  No, we don’t run around trolling bars until closing time, (not usually) but we do have nice dinners with friends, we go to bars for cocktails and have discussions about men and sex and even politics! 

Media loves to show us miserable, unhealthy, unkempt stay at home moms.  When they show us the opposite, she is put together, impossibly thin and suffering a pill popping habit and a severe case of OCD.  Neither is flattering, and neither is accurate.  Today’s stay at home mom is nothing like the one most people imagine.  She probably went to college, even grad school.  She probably had several jobs, or even a decent career before she stayed home.  She likely had many boyfriends; she may have even lived with some of them.  Chances are that she lived in multiple cities and that she has travelled.  Today’s stay at home mom knows what she is missing and it is what makes her confident and happy in her decision to stay home. Yes, on bad days it is also what makes her want to run screaming from the house to the nearest happy hour!  The media has not caught up.  The media doesn’t represent the modern stay at home mom as a fun or even a smart person.  Unfortunately they are presented as homely, uneducated, frumpy and no fun. Is it unfathomable that smart, funny, attractive, ambitious women stay home with kids willingly and freely?  For most of us it was a decision we made against many warnings!  You’ll be bored at home.  But, you have so much potential…you could be so successful!  You’ve worked so hard, how could you walk away when you are just about to crack the ceiling?  Does anyone else find these statements/questions/warnings offensive?

I am not bored.  I would love to be bored once in a while!  Boring was sitting at a desk on tedious conference calls during which people discussed a plethora of “challenges” that had to be “addressed.”  The call would go in circles for an hour before someone offered the genius, and highly efficient solution that, “we all go wrap our heads around this and circle back later.”  Yes, I had and still have a tremendous amount of potential in business and in life.  That potential is what I put into running my home like a machine, finding the best education options for my kids, managing my family’s finances and raising two scary smart kids.  It is also what goes into being a volunteer child advocate and this blog.  As far as walking away, eh, it’s not that hard when that baby comes out of you and into your arms.  Frankly, walking away from what I took years to build is the smallest of the sacrifices I’ve made.  Losing your abdominal muscles completely?  That is a sacrifice!

According to television and advertising executives, stay at home moms are a) always home, b) VERY concerned with cleaning c) wear sweater sets and slacks and d) act like teenage girls drinking their first wine cooler in the event the do manage to “escape” for a night out.  It is this sense of escaping that makes me crazy.  We stay home and raise our children full time and that prevents us from being able to have a paying job.  We are not prison inmates.  We make plans and we go out just like we did when we were young professionals.  We do not “escape.”

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mommy's Guilt

Mom, was that you that I saw in my room watching me sleep?  Was it you I heard whispering,  “I love you…I am sorry.”  Why are you sorry mommy?  Was it because I pushed your buttons today one time too many and I fell down when you had to scoot me out of the kitchen?  Mommy, it's okay, I only cried because I was tired and because I really just wanted to play with you.  Is it because you yelled at me and asked me if I was your tail today?  That’s funny mommy because I am not a tail!  I am a kid!  I was following you because I wanted a hug.  You just looked so busy I didn’t know how to ask you for one.  Was it because I asked you to get me cherries 107 times and then when you did (and spent the 25 minutes taking the pits out) I didn’t even eat them, and you got frustrated?  I wasn’t really hungry when I asked for them.  Sometimes when I ask you for food it is because I want to talk to you and you are in the kitchen, so it makes sense to ask about food.  Was it because I pushed and punched and kicked my baby brother and you had to give me a time out?  I know I shouldn’t, but mommy he is always getting in my way and he never listens!  He doesn’t even listen to you that good, and mommy, sometimes I just get tired of hearing about how he is a baby and he doesn’t know…I know that you keep telling me that I was a baby once and I didn’t know once either.  I don’t remember that, so I am not sure if you are correct.  Is it because every time you ask me to do something I say, “No” and then we fight?  Ok, yea, I know I shouldn’t say “no” to you…my bad…It’s just, I hear that word so much that it is always on my mind.  No. No. No!  Hey, wait a second…Mom are you laying with me now?  How come you lay with me when I am sleeping but when I ask you to lay with me when I am awake you tell me that, “I have to be a big boy,” and “go to sleep on my own”?  I find this very confusing.  You get to sleep with daddy every night.  It doesn’t make sense.  And now you lay with me when I am sleeping…well…just so you know…this doesn’t count!